These are Gartner’s Aspiring African Innovators for 2016

Business analysis company Garter started an initiative last year where it selected a handful of African startups to showcase their wares, products and services at the annual Gartner Symposium,

The symposium is held in Cape Town this week, and to carry on its African Aspiring Innovators programme, it unveiled this year’s selection of startups.

The aim of the African Aspiring Innovators programme is to highlight technology-focused startups from around Africa – all of which should be of interest to symposium attendees.

Once selected, the chosen startups have their own booth, build around the MTN Business stand. This in itself is a bit of an achievement, as the startups get to associate themselves with the MTN brand – who has fostered many startups in the past.

“We set this up explicitly for companies and startups who can’t afford to have a stand on the expo floor,” explained Gartner’s Jeffrey Mann.

After receiving 35 proposals from five countries across Africa, the company selected five who would be of most value to the symposium attendees. Each one was then asked to produce a video, do their own radio interviews and produce press releases in the build-up towards the Gartner Symposium.

But naturally there has to be some criteria for entering: the startup has to be based in Africa; has to be business to business or business to customer focused; have fewer than 50 employees; product has to be in beta; and can’t be part of a subsidiary.

This year’s selected startups for the African Aspiring Innovators programme are:


The main aim of the company is to make purchasing and procurement a lot easier than what it is now. The company wants to bring everybody into the fold that would be a part of the procurement process, so that everybody can have access to exactly where the purchase is – which is all hosted on the cloud.

“We make sure all the parties to your transactions can focus on the tasks at hand by providing dashboards, alerts and real-time status updates, with ready access to your entire transaction history via an online document store, that works with your existing staff information access protocols and talks to the systems you already have,” the company explained.

We have never had the need for such a service, but we can understand why it would make things just a little bit more bearable when having to buy and track new equipment.

Impression Signature

Trying to take the pain out of signing documents, this startup wants to make it so easy for you to put your name down on an electronic document. But what it different to something like DocuSign, is that you can do it on any device, from anywhere in the world.

The cool thing that we like about is that you really can sign documents from anywhere. The app also has the functionality that you can take a picture of a document, digitally sign it, and then send it back. The technology behind it is actually much better than other services, as the app takes things like how hard you press to sign it, the signing speed and you location into consideration.


One of the biggest problems for companies who want to bring their organisation in line with the Internet of Things, is that legacy systems often don’t communicate very well with newer devices on the same network.

And this is where IoT.nxt comes it. The company produces a number of hardware pieces that sit between machines and devices, which in turn allows them to communicate with other devices connected to the same network.

We have spoken to a number of companies in the past that simply don’t have the resources to outfit their company with everything new just to be able to use IoT, but this startup is trying to make things for those companies, a lot easier.

Kriterion Developers

For Kriterion, the goal was simple: tenders in South Africa are fraught with corruption, so the best way to solve that is to make a tender platform that can’t be tampered with. The students from the University of Johannesburg was entered into the Gartner African Aspiring Innovators programme as the wild card entry.

Invoke Solutions

Invoke Solutions saw a need in the way that companies communicate and collaborate, and took that one step further by adding as much data into the fold as possible. The result? A propitiatory reporting and analytics platform that can be used by almost any company.

[Image – CC by 2.0/file]


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